Russian lacquer boxes are well known all over the world. The main schools of Russian lacquer miniatures is a unique branch of world applied art. There are four villages located not far from Moscow, which create Russian lacquer miniatures. The schools of this art (named by villages) are PALEKH, MSTERA, KHOLYI, and FEDOSKINO. Artists of these schools painted religious icons (miniatures) for many centuries. After the Communist revolution (1917) they were not permitted to do icons and they began to make lacquer boxes. Each village has its own style and favorite subjects: fairy tales, village scenes, landscapes, and bouquets. The first Russian lacquer factories appeared at the beginning of the 18th Century. The villages worked together to create the unique designers, using methods that have been passed on for generations. Some cut the cardboard to size, cover it with paste, and press it in mold to dry it and then deep it in linseed oil. That's when the carpenters take over. They plane and sand the forms they apply putty made by hand to each box and smooth it so the painters can readily coat each box with lacquer, then send the box to the artist. The artist draws an outline, paints it in with zinc white, and covers it with colors, which are egg emulsion tempera made fresh in extremely small quantities. Gold leaf is applied and burnished with a wolf's tooth. All artists make own brushes from squirrel hair and often paint their detailed designs with one hair brush under magnifying glass. Each box requires incredible amount of work. You are welcome to look into some examples of this work.

Russian Lacquer Boxes - Landscapes and Village Scenes

Russian Lacquer Boxes – Fairy-tales

Russian Lacquer Boxes - Unique and Cartoons

Russian Lacquer Boxes Religious

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